It's official: the need for businesses to be smart about smartphones is so obvious it now goes without saying.
Google announced recently that it is dropping the “mobile friendly” seal of approval that has been popping up in search results over the past two years to distinguish websites that work well on smartphones from those that hadn’t bothered to make their sites easy to read and navigate on mobile devices’ smaller screens.
In Google’s view, the campaign to optimize the smartphone experience by dangling the reward of a "mobile friendly" designation can be called off, because it has been fought and won. Google reported that 85% of all pages in mobile search results now qualify as mobile friendly. It’s no longer something to aspire to, but something that’s simply assumed. As Google put it, "we've seen the ecosystem evolve." The recalcitrant few who haven’t evolved by optimizing their content and user experience for mobile will continue to be penalized with lowered rankings in search results.
“The…search giant feels it is common knowledge that sites… will be friendlier to all devices,” MediaPost.com noted in its Mobile Insider newsletter.
What goes without saying in the realm of search results also should go without saying in the realm of market research. Lacking an effective, wholehearted strategy for mobile surveys will soon be a mark of backwardness almost too obvious to be worth pointing out.
For now, though, it does bear pointing out, so until the MR industry has come fully on board, MFour will keep talking about what it means to be mobile-research friendly.
It’s not just fielding the same old surveys to smaller screens, and it’s not just picking any mobile system that presents itself. State-of-the-art mobile research is not a commodity, but an advanced specialty, and like any technology-driven specialty, it requires experience and single-minded focus. MFour has put all its effort and skill into mobile since 2011, when it began pioneering mobile research software and recruiting smartphone and tablet users to its unique, all-mobile Surveys on the Go® panel, which now numbers more than a million active members and continues to grow at the rate of more than 2,000 daily.
Adopters of advanced smartphone-based research will harness the devices' vast computing, multimedia, and geolocation capabilities, and the results will speak for themselves. Soon it will go without saying that advanced mobile research is the industry standard. You may not be quite there yet, but if you’re reading this, you’re already on the brink.
Most of us are used to letting Google guide us. This is no time to make an exception.